by Carlo Longino

You Needed DVD Jon For This?

from the 1334-sk!lls dept

Michael Robertson's made a career out of antagonizing big companies until they sue, then reaping the rewards of the publicity. One of his latest ventures, a site selling unrestricted MP3s from independent artists and small labels wasn't making much noise -- and presumably, wasn't really making much money, either, so Robertson drummed up some noise by hiring DVD Jon to work on some secret product that will, in all likelihood, result in another lawsuit. MP3Tunes today announced a new online storage service where people can, for $40 a year, upload their music collection and be able to access it from any computer with a Web browser. This isn't a new idea, nor is it very complex, and certainly isn't why DVD Jon was hired -- but it might be a clue. A slightly more involved storage service, where users put in their copy-protected music, then take out unprotected, DRM-free files, would be right up DVD Jon's alley -- and certainly would draw out the lawyers.

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  • identicon
    Jeremiah, 29 Nov 2005 @ 7:53pm

    mp3.com tried this

    He tried this same concept when he was the head of MP3.com. They called it the "locker" or some such nomenclature. The idea then was you'd put an audio CD in your drive, their applet would verify that you "owned" the CD, and you were then able to access mp3's of that CD from any web browser.

    It was this feature alone that drew the ire of entertainment conglomerates.

    I consider Michael an acquaintance of mine, a relationship from when he was still considered a founder of MP3.com. You'll understand my strong objection to Carlo's characterization of Michael's "..career of antagonizing big companies until they sue."

    Michael Robertson founded the only online music distribution service that actually paid artists for bringing traffic to mp3.com (they paid out a million dollars a month for some time.) One would think that after all of Carlo's raving about artists not being well-paid by record companies, he'd have a more balanced view of Michael's career. Alas, you'd be expecting too much from Carlo.

    Carlo's adolescent assessment isn't particularly intelligent or insightful, and is certainly far beneath the demeanor of Techdirt, IMHO. Consider this a formal request to have Carlo sent packing.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike (profile), 29 Nov 2005 @ 8:29pm

      Re: mp3.com tried this

      This is different than the MP3.com music locker. This is much more like MyPlay, a short-lived startup that let you upload all your MP3 files for storage and playing purposes.

      As for the other point, Carlo was actually riffing on my earlier statements. I have no problem with Robertson at all (and I doubt Carlo's implication was meant negatively, either). However, his track record is clear: repeatedly he has gone after big incumbent players and challenged them in unique ways that undercut their business model. That's quite innovative -- and for that he should be congratulated. One aspect of that, though, is that these deals very often end up in lawsuits, and the way he responds to them often seems like he's clearly trying to court those lawsuits, in order to milk the publicity from them.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    VoiceOfReason, 30 Nov 2005 @ 11:55am

    No Subject Given

    Michael Robertson is the remora of the Internet.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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